Thursday, November 12, 2009
Nothing ever goes right for Eloise. The day she wears her new suede boots, it rains. When the subway stops short, she's the one thrown into some stranger's lap. And she's had her share of misfortune in the way of love. So, after deciding that romantic heroes must be a thing of the past, Eloise is ready for a fresh start.
Setting off for England, Eloise is determined to finish her dissertation on two spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. But what she discovers is something historians have missed: the secret history of the Pink Carnation-the most elusive spy of all time. As she works to unmask this obscure spy, Eloise has more and more questions. Like, how did the Pink Carnation save England from Napoleon? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly escape her bad luck and find a living, breathing hero of her own?
I've been having the hardest time writing this review, I've been putting it off and off and the reason why is, I'm afraid I can't do this book justice - I loved it!
I was so surprised to find out how much I really adored this book! It had it all. First of all, it was a little chic litty because it starts out in present day. Eloise is our modern day heroine who has a thing for the Scarlet Pimpernel and another similar type of 18th century hero that worked with the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Purple Gentian. Now, having just read (or listened, in my case) to the book, The Scarlet Pimpernel, I loved this premise. Eloise decided to write a paper and go to England to research this topic and find out who was the the real Purple Gentian and another mysterious masked hero, the Pink Carnation. Now, of course, they're all fictional, but this book brings them to life, particulary the Purple Gentian. As Eloise delves into her research, she is generously given the chance to read the private papers of the real story from the Purple Gentian's present day descendents. While reading these papers, she meets Colin, the not so endearing present day earl or viscount or lord (I can't remember what he is) of the Selwick family. She has a couple of run ins with him - of course, he's dazzingly handsome, and she's always managing to make a fool of herself in front of him - a la Bridget Jones, which I found endearing and funny (especially since I love Bridget!).
While reading the 200 year old papers, we are then taken back in time to Napoleanic times and when the Purple Gentian was in action! We learn about Amy, who wants to work in league with the Purple Gentian (even though she doesn't know who he is.) She has wanted this ever since she was a little girl and she hops off to France from England with her cousin, Jane, and chaperone, Gwen. This is when the book gets really good! We also meet Lord Richard Selwick who is the real The Purple Gentian. He is charming and handsome and I found him totally endearing as well. There are tons of mix ups, humerous antecdotes, masked kisses, daring rescues and a mystery, plus some sweet, but at the same time, hot sex scenes - this book had it all! Not to mention - a great plot and I loved every minute of it! I loved the switching back and forth between Amy and Richard's story and Eloise and Colin's, which is not finished! I'm sure we'll learn more about our present day hero and heroine in the future books of this series.
Do yourself a big favor - read this book. It helps to know the story of The Scarlet Pimpernel first, though it's not required - but it does help. I'm eager to read the rest in this series - it was so much fun and I hated to finish it!